Right then time for an update. Sorry for the reflections in the pics daytime photography with curved glass is a nightmare!
Well, i've been very busy over the last week or so firstly last weekend i took a trip to Wildwoods for some wood. after looking in the wood pile i was rather disappointed to find loads of small pieces about the size of your hand. on questioning one of the guys he led me "out the back" to two HUGE crates bursting with bogwood!! great... i spent 45 mins emptying both crates all over the floor, selecting my pieces and then putting it all back. no idea on cost as nothing was priced but i had an "oh sod it" moment. one piece in particullar is quite spectacular. it's a spherical piece, totally hollow with lots of holes all over it. makes a perfect cave. it all came to Â£70 in the end, not bad at all
sorry for the lack of set up pics, my camera was playing up and i couldn't wait.
i then decided to soak the wood in the tank as even my bathtub was too small to submerge it all at once. i had no fish at this point and a bare bottom so the empty tank was ideal.
it's worth me mentioning my water change plan. there as no way i was going to change 50G every week using buckets so i bought 7 meters of Eheim hose and attached to my powerhead. fill the sink, leave water running and pump to the tank. the only problem is adding dechlorinator as you have to do this every minute or so as the sink fills.
George: I'd love to hear about your "inline" dechlorinator i could definitely use that if it would work on my system.
so for the next day or two i changed loads of water to get the initial tannins out then got bored and wanted fish. i cloaned the filter from my rio180 and squeezed the sponges into the tank leaving one sponge in the 450's filter box. went off to the LFS and bought 10 Cardinal Tetras.
On Thursday the Eco complete arrived. now my original plan was to totally drain the tank to add the substrate but in my usual inpatient way i now had fish in it. damn it. remembering you do not need to rinse EC i thought i could get away with lowering the level to 40% and pouring it in. i didn't want the wood to sit on top of the EC i wanted the part buried more natural look so i opened the first bag and started to gently lower fist fulls into the water. well my oh my i am now realising that you cannot treat a 100G the same as a standard tank lol. in order to touch the bottom i need to stand on a chair. this means holding a 20KG bag of EC in one hand and gently lowering fist fulls to the tank bottom with the other. whilst keeping balance and not dropping black sandy muck on my cream carpet!
so that didn't last long as i really hurt my back lol. next plan was genius, just put the entire unopened bag in the tank and open it once it's in there. then gently tip over and pull out the empty bag. it worked a treat with only one problem. i can see that this wouldn't happen in a dry tank but in a half full one the amazon black water which the EC is packed in really clouds the tank. after the first bag (of 6) i couldn't see a thing so had to arrange the EC totally blind. once i had done it the water cleared enough to make out the line of the substrate after about 3 hours so i then dived back in and remoulded it to my liking, obviously clouding the water again in the process. EC contains a huge amount of dusty particles. if adding to a dry tank these would settle as a base layer and be no problem at all(in fact beneficial) however in a half full tank they float about and cling to everything. one waft of my hand against the wood and a big dust cloud comes up, clouding the water...Grrrrr
so after about 10 50% water changes, a ton of filter floss and a very painful backache here we are...
and after planting the stems (in pots in previous pic) and adding sand. (i didn't bother with the divider as it floated lol. i'm sure the sand and EC will mix but i'm not too fussed. i wantd to create an island look with a kind of shoreline if that makes sence. the entire EC foreground will be an HC carpet if all goes to plan with lots of stems at the back and anubias on the wood. i'm sure attaching anubias with cotton thread will be a piece of cake while it's in the tank lol
next stage is to get plants, 3 more T5 tubes and set up co2. this will be around the end of October due to cost!
i have negotiated 130 Cardinals for Â£0.85 each. not bad hey. all will be from the same batch and will be kept together for me at the LFS so i can stock gradually.
Yeah, thats a fair coment. Surely you could have an old or new C2 reactor. Cram it full of Carbon and things like purigen ( how ever you spell it ) and pump the water through that. I gues you would have to look at how fast the water is passing through the media. To fast and it would be a waste of time.
It's looking great! Am intrigued to see how you add the lights as I want to add some to my vision 180 and am hoping to pick up some tips from you! I remember looking at purigen a while back - does it go in your external filter? sorry if i'm being dumb
nickyc - one tube in front and one behind the light bar. add reflectors and it sits on the 2 centre braces with a bit of tin foil under the contact area with the brace to disipate the heat and prevent damaging it. i'll upload pics in a bit.
George - i'm geting a Rena XP2 in a few days. the spray bar will be used vertically (as in the 180) in the rear left corner. flow will be straight over the diffuser which is in the front left corner. i'm hoping that should do it. no gas at the moment. 2 FE's on the way early next week so i'll try it then and let you know how i get on. what is a reactor anyway, i've never actually seen one or heard how they work. i thought they were the same as the external filter method, if so i've done that before but the filter noise gets annoying. so i went back to diffusers.
Â£50 brand new in original packaging, not even oened from a member on TFF - i have my reasons lol
i just want a bit more flow around that side of the tank and an external for the freedom of baskets. the fluval 105 worked well in the 180 so i'm hoping for a simmilar effect. the juwel internal is staying in place to run in conjunction with the XP2
I've installed two more T5HO arcadia plant pro tubes to bring me up to 216 Watts so 2.16WPG. also added reflectors to get the most out of the light available. i really want to grow a compact carpet again and am a bit apprehensive about the depth of the tank. hopefully that is enough light to penetrate.. we'll soon see anyway lol
with upgraded lighting (4x54w tubes with reflectors) Notice the brightness of the substrate in both pics!
typically because the tank is so damn huge the end cap cables from the Glo kit aren't long enough so the front tube is offset to the left and just about fits in front of the juwel one. there was absolute no way of adding a reflector as it would need to be about an inch further forward so i just put it under the juwel reflector along with the original one. before anyone suggests an alternative setup for it i have screwed the ballast to the roof of the right hand cupboard right in the top left corner. that's as close as it can get to provide just enough cable to reach in front of the juwel light bar. i can fit both behind the light bar with reflectors attached but i really want a nice forground carpet and i think direct light from above will provide a better intensity at substrate level.
I've also bought the additional filter. Rena XP2 brand new and sealed from Fwapp on TFF for Â£50.
I'm well chuffed with it, very good quality clear silicone hoses, far better than my fluval ones on the old tank. totally silent running (so far) and seems easy to get to the media. flow rate using my highly efficient holding hand in front of outlet method seems similar to the juwel filter which will remain running along side it.
so a tank shot with 2.16WPG (oops spray bar and inlet are not in the final position - ignore that.)
now all i need is for my FE's to turn up and I'll buy the plants. getting there...slowly
correct. or Tiger Lotus as us laypeople call it. i may be good at aquascaping and growing but latin...thats another story.
the feathery one is just that...a feathery one lol. no idea TBH simillar to Cabomba but much finer leaved. LFS has it in all the time, they dont know what it is either. if it grows then i dont really care what it is called lol.